Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world. However, declining testing and case reporting in China, along with minimal sharing of viral genome sequence data, may delay identification of new variants of concern should they arise. Pre-departure testing and the requirement to show negative test results have been shown to reduce the number of infected passengers boarding planes. This helps slow the spread of the virus. appear.
Beginning January 5 at 12:01 AM ET, all passengers over the age of 2 departing from China will be required to undergo testing (PCR testing, or antigen self-test). Approved provider at least 2 days prior to departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau, approved by the Food and Drug Administration or relevant national authorities, and required to present negative test results to the airline upon departure there is.
- This requirement applies to these air passengers regardless of nationality or vaccination status.
- This also applies to those traveling from China via a third country, and passengers connecting to further destinations via the United States.
- In addition to applying this requirement to direct flights from China, passengers transiting through Incheon International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport bound for the United States must submit a negative COVID-19 test result. . China in the last 10 days up to 2 days before departure to the United States. These three transit hubs cover the vast majority of travelers from China and Special Administrative Regions. We will continue to monitor travel patterns, adjust our approach as necessary, and keep Americans informed in a timely manner.
- Passengers who have tested positive more than 10 days before their flight can provide documentation of their recovery from COVID-19 in lieu of a negative test result.
- Prior to boarding any passenger or denying a passenger boarding, the airline must verify documentation of a negative or recovered COVID-19 test result.
CDC is also expanding its Traveler-Based Genome Surveillance Program (TGS), a voluntary program that serves as an early warning system to detect and characterize novel and rare variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. doing. TGS collects anonymous nasal swabs from international travelers arriving on select flights at major US international airports. The program will test her for the presence of the COVID-19 virus, and if it is detected, the program will sequence the viral genome to identify new variants. The program has expanded by adding additional airports (Los Angeles and Seattle), bringing the total number of airports to seven, with weekly flights from at least 30 countries across all World Health Organization (WHO) regions. will be approximately 500. This includes approximately 290 weekly flights from China and surrounding regions.
TGS has proven to overcome gaps in global SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance that arise as many countries reduce or discontinue testing and sequencing. In the first few weeks of the Omicron surge, TGS detected two Omicron subvariants, BA.2 and BA.3, and reported them to the global database weeks before they were reported elsewhere. This shows that the program can detect variants early.
Approaches layered with existing CDC recommendations, such as wearing a mask while traveling, self-monitoring for symptoms, and testing three days after arrival from international travel, could make travel safer and healthier by reducing the spread of air travel. It helps us to be positive and responsible. , airports, and destinations should be alert for possible variants. Our new testing policy, along with the expansion of TGS, will help protect the health and safety of travelers and the American community.
CDC will also work with WHO and partner countries to strengthen sequencing capacity and improve the global ability to detect new variants.
This order will take effect on January 5, 2023 at 12:01 AM Eastern Time. More information will be available soon from the CDC.Click here for a list of certification exams.